Posts Tagged spirituality

Communion

This past Sunday morning I was reminded of the simplicity of community and the unity that can come from it. Within the Episcopal tradition, communion is provided every Sunday. In our church, we leave our pews and line up to receive the bread and the wine, the body and the blood of Christ, at the altar. You stand or kneel, shoulder to shoulder, with your fellow church members in prayer and reflection as you wait to receive communion.

While some Sunday’s it can be easy to go through the motions when getting communion, this past Sunday I could not ignore the amazing love of God present in the chapel.

Out of the quietness of communion, a sole individual began to sing from the altar. The words uttered were from the spiritual “Let us Break Bread Together.” Slowly more and more members began to join in together, singing in unity, these lines:

Let us break bread together on our knees, (on our knees)
Let us break bread together on our knees. (on our knees)
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.
 

Let us drink wine together on our knees, (on our knees)
Let us drink wine together on our knees. (on our knees)
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.
 

Let us praise God together on our knees, (on our knees)
Let us praise God together on our knees. (on our knees)
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Sitting there in the pew after taking communion, my heart warmed to the knowledge of the presence of God and his love that was emanating throughout the church. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we sat there in unity together, breaking bread together. All I could do was smile, while my mind went to a passage in Acts about the early church:

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:42-47

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Facing Brokenness

It has been a while since I wrote my last blog. At first unintentionally and as the time passed over the past month and half, I began to purposefully ignore my blog. I needed some time off. I needed time to figure out life, figure out what I’m thinking, figure out what I am feeling.

Numbness and stagnation are some of the best words I have to describe how I have felt over the past several weeks. Life has been busy. I have found it much easier to go through the motions than to face my internal frustrations. I have found it easier to immerse myself in the constant activities and events going on around me than face these issues. Two weeks ago when I left for a week off, I felt worn out, tired, and broken.

During my week off, I kept telling myself I needed to get back in the game and leave this numbness behind. Maybe if I just got some rest and relaxation it would all be better. But as the week continued, I realized that wasn’t enough, and upon returning to Atlanta I felt more rested but still numb, stagnate, and broken.

But then it all broke through, the question that had been in the back of my mind, fighting to get out. Where was God?

Living in a neighborhood where most people live around the poverty line, addiction is all too prevalent, and various forms of violence occur frequently can be taxing. Constant conversations with a group of girls I’ve gotten to know about the issues of race, which seem to never end on a good note. The frustrations building over a school system where it seems too obvious that certain schools and neighborhoods are easily ignored. Watching people I have worked with in the drop in help center come in again and again because after 6 months they still haven’t followed through with appointments, directions, and tasks. Dealing with the hardships that come with living in community. Where is God?

The feeling of continuous unanswered prayers. And while there have definitely been blessings and doors opened over the past several weeks, they haven’t been the prayers that have been most pressing on my heart. How do you face a God that has continuously blessed you and shown you the way more obvious than anytime in your life when you still feel frustrated? Still feel hurt? Still feel so broken?

But then the other night it hit me. I will ALWAYS be broken.

So I sat there in prayer and reflection realizing that God has carried me this far and he will not let me fail. I felt the comfort that only HE can bring, and I knew amongst all my ongoing feelings of hurt and frustration that he is right there beside me, guiding me, and loving me. So while the question still lingers of, Where is God? I face each day and take each step with the faith that he’s got a hold of me.

 

 

 

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